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Tamils call for self determination before Sri Lanka's constitutional reform committee

Tamils in the North-East reiterated calls for self-determination, as the Sri Lankan government’s Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms launched its first meeting in Jaffna this week.

Written and verbal statements are being collected from civil society organisations, political parties and individuals on the process of constitutional reform.

As the committee held their first meeting on Monday Northern Provincial Councillor M. K. Shivajilingam called for Sri Lanka’s constitutional reform process to have “involvement, assistance, and assurance” from the international community

Northern Provincial Councillor calls for international mediation in Sri Lanka’s constitutional reform (16 Feb 2016)

During the second day of submissions, the Tamil Civil Society Forum said the unitary character of the Sri Lankan state hence “permits Sinhala Buddhist nationalism to impose a deep hegemony on the island”, and called for a “self-determination inspired approach to federalism”.

‘Devolution within a unitary state is unacceptable’ - Tamil civil society (16 Feb 2016)

A man from Sulipuram in Jaffna said the new constitution should enshrine the Tamil people's right to honour the LTTE cadres who sacrificed their lives for the nation.

Call for Maaveerar Naal commemoration in Jaffna (16 Feb 2016)

His calls were echoed by the Vicar General of Jaffna Diocese who said "the people in the North and East should be allowed to remember their dead in an appropriate, decent, free and dignified manner".

‘Tamils must be allowed to remember war dead’ - Vicar General of Jaffna Diocese (18 Feb 2016)